BMW automobiles at Pier 10 at the Port of GalvestonBMW has opened a vehicle distribution centre (VDC) at the US port of Galveston, Texas, following a $12m investment.

The centre, which has 4,000 sq.m of processing space on an 8 hectare site, will import and process 32,500 vehicles annually for onward distribution to 45 BMW and Mini dealers across four states: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. United Road will be hauling the vehicles from the port to the dealerships.

The VDC was built in a year and is owned and operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics’ Vehicle Services Americas (WWL VSA).

The logistics provider will carry out a range of tasks at the centre under the supervision of a BMW management team, including vehicle inspection, accessory installation, vehicle programming, and vehicle maintenance and storage.

“Why Galveston? BMW’s Southern Region is growing faster than any other region in the US,” said Stephan Reiff, vice president of aftersales, BMW of North America. “Building this facility allows us to continue to deliver the highest quality vehicles while providing faster delivery times to our customers.”

Reiff and his BMW colleagues were joined at a launch event for the facility by Ray Fitzgerald, president of WWL Atlantic, and Michael Mierzwa, port director of Galveston.

“This Galveston port facility marks the 63rd processing facility in WWL's global network – a newly constructed and specially designed state-of-the-art vehicle technical services and storage facility that is fully outfitted and customised to BMW's processes, standards and requirements,” said Fitzgerald.

WWL VSA already has a facility at Galveston supporting the construction, agricultural and mining equipment sectors that provides storage for 7,000 units.